I'm the Member of Parliament for Mt Albert, and Labour Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs.
My life’s motivation is the service of others. Most of my career has been dedicated to addressing inequality and fairness here in New Zealand and abroad. My work every day is an expression of these beliefs.
Born and raised in Auckland, I have worked mainly outside New Zealand helping people caught in war and conflict in places such as Iraq, Somalia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan for the United Nations and other organisations. That experience taught me the need for determination, resilience, and pragmatism. It also gave me abroader perspective on life. Throughout I remained passionately a New Zealander in my core values.
My belief in social justice naturally led me to the Labour Party. I was on the Labour list in 1999 and stood for Labour in Whangarei in 2002. I was elected MP for Mt Albert in the June 2009 by-election.
My experience running large-scale relief operations and handling difficult political negotiations has given me considerable managerial and financial skills. I have worked under extreme pressure – sometimes in life-threatening situations – to achieve my goals and keep my promises. I have spoken out publicly in the media on the issues I have felt strongly about.
I was named “New Zealander of the Year” by the New Zealand Herald in 1993 for my work in Somalia, and awarded an M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire) in the British 1993 New Year Honours List. In 1994, Save the Children awarded me their international “Award for Gallantry” for my service in areas of conflict.
I am married to Anuschka and we have two wonderful teenage children.
Address: Freepost PO Box 18 888, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160
Phone: 04 817 9370
Address: Level 1, 901 New North Road, Mt Albert, Auckland 1025
Phone: 09 845 1919
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